If I’m being honest, when I think of hand pies the first image that comes to mind is the numbingly sweet frosted hostess pies you can get in a gas station or drugstore. All in all, they’re pretty damn gross. The fruit (if real) is preserved to death, the pastry crust is dense, and truly everything is soaked in sugar. Despite all of that, or maybe because of it, when I was growing up I absolutely loved them. Once in awhile – in the right mood – I love them still.
The second thing that comes to mind is the all mighty pop tart. The definition of a hand pie isn’t strict, as we’ll talk about in a minute, and pop tarts hit all the right marks to fit in the family. I’d say the hand pie we’re making today resembles something between a hostess fruit pie and a pop tart, elevated (I hope) to the standard I’ve set for any recipe shared here at DFK. I’ve chosen to make a filling using some of the lovely yellow peaches that are in season right now, with a little homegrown lemon verbena (it’s my favorite herb) added for contrast.
Because the filling for these pies is piped, I hand blend it until smooth after it’s cooled off. If you prefer a pie filling with pieces of fruit, that’s just fine, but I suggest chopping them into small pieces or else they’ll be difficult to portion into each pie.
If you’d rather not go to the trouble of making a fruit filling, you can use jam. If you just aren’t a fan of fruit in general, you can use ganache or nutella (or something like it). If you just don’t like pies, you’re in the wrong place.
peach hand pie
hand pie dough
315g all purpose flour
226g butter unsalted
50g whole egg about 1 egg
30g whole milk
Cut the butter into ¼” cubes and keep it in the cooler to use later.
Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
Add the cold, cubed butter into the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until the butter breaks down and creates a grainy texture and a dough is almost formed.
Add the whole egg and whole milk and mix until just combined.
Wrap the dough in plastic and cool in the fridge for a minimum of 1hr up to overnight.
peach hand pie filling
200g sliced yellow peaches about 1 medium peach
5g vanilla extract
3g lemon verbena optional
Cut the sliced peaches into a small dice.
Combine the peaches, vanilla extract, and sugar in a medium sauce pot over medium-low heat.
Cook the mixture gently, stirring occasionally, until some of the juice in the peaches has cooked out.
Combine the cornstarch and water into a slurry, and add it to the peaches.
Whisk the slurry into the peaches and bring the mixture up to a boil, stirring constantly.
Let the mixture cook for 1min. to remove any starch flavor.
Finely mince the lemon verbena and add it to the peach filling.
Hand blend the filling until smooth, then cover with plastic wrap to touch and let cool and set for several hours in the cooler.
70g powdered sugar
Roll the dough out to 1/8”/.3cm.
I prefer a mini hand pie, so the dimensions called for in this recipe are for a smaller size. Do make a hand pie that is closer to a pop tart see the notated size in the next step.
Cut the dough into 2 ½ x 4”/6.3 x 10cm rectangles. Two rectangles will make a single hand pie.
*For a larger pie cut 4 x 5 ½”/10 x 14cm
Pipe the filling onto one half of each pair of rectangles, leaving a ½” gap around the edge of the rectangle.
Lightly brush egg white on the exposed dough around the filling.
Lay the second rectangle of dough over the first, pressing the dough around the edge gently at first, pressing out any pockets of air. Once any air has been pressed from between the dough, press more firmly around the edge of each pie, to secure the two halves together.
Trim the edge of each pie with a sharp knife.
Brush each hand pie with egg wash (for egg wash I use 15g of milk per whole egg plus a pinch or so of salt).
Using a toothpick or thin wooden skewer, dock each pie with 8-10 holes.
Bake the hand pies at 350F/176C for 20-25min. or until very lightly golden.
Brush the hand pies with a thin layer of sugar glaze just after the pies come out of the oven.
Cheers – Chef Scott